Whole Foods Stores Start Week With Lower Prices, Echo Speakers Next To Vegetables

Image courtesy of Jason Del Rey

It’s the beginning of a new week for most of us, but the beginning of a new era for Whole Foods and Amazon. The grocery store’s acquisition by the Everything Store closes this week, and the companies have already kicked off their in-store relationship with Echo speakers in the produce section and lower prices on selected items around the store.

Farm Fresh Changes

If customers missed the news that Whole Foods would become part of Amazon today, they certainly knew once they saw a prominent display in the produce department.

Amazon and Whole Foods announced last week that they would celebrate their merger by discounting popular items in Whole Foods stores.

While the companies’ future plans together involve making Amazon Prime membership the loyalty and rewards program for Whole Foods shoppers, the discounts on grocery staples that start today are available to anyone who walks in the door.

Price Check

Business Insider stopped by a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn last week, assembling a virtual basket of the items that Whole Foods and Amazon mentioned in their announcement of the price cuts. They returned today and added up the same virtual basket. The groceries that cost $97.76 on Friday cost $75.85 today, a difference of 23%.

That’s a price cut on staples that the grocery chain advertised, though, and not on an entire basket of groceries that a real family might buy. What the price cuts might do is encourage people to add more fresh avocados and bananas to their diets.

“It reminded me why I shop at Amazon,” one regular Whole Foods shopper in Manhattan told a Bloomberg Technology reporter. “Ninety-nine percent of the time they have the best prices and their return policy is great. With the prices lower, I think we’re more likely to shop here every day.”

In Seattle, Geekwire found that the most dramatic price cut was on Hass avocados, with the price down 50% from the weekend.

Social media users reacted favorably to the price cuts, whether they actually visited Whole Foods today or not. Some customers look forward to shopping there regularly for the first time.

With dozens of items to re-price overnight and hundreds of stores, some fuzzy math is inevitable.

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